Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, March 3, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 7


Mountain Views News Saturday, March 3, 2012

DUARTE, CA, March 1, 2012 – For the first 
time in several years, the City of Duarte is 
looking at a substantial budget surplus at 
mid-year. What was originally projected to 
be a $134,400 surplus when the 2011/2012 
budget was adopted has grown to a surplus 
of $578,900, increasing the year-end General 
Fund reserves to $12.5 million, equating to 
109% of General Fund expenditures. 

 The surplus is attributed to many 
factors such as program reductions, cost 
savings from recently negotiated union 
agreements, staff vacancies, higher than 
expected building permit revenues, lower 
than expected expenses and several grants.

 “It’s been a team effort over the past 
three years to right the ship and find ways to 
trim, cut, conserve and live within the new 
normal of this economy,” said City Manager 
Darrell George. “A lot of work has been 
done in the last two years to make fiscally 
responsible adjustments and this budget 
reflects the fruits our labor. However, there 
continues to be a lot of uncertainty over how 
the city’s finances may be further impacted 
as a result of decisions yet to be made over 
former redevelopment funds and that will 
need to be dealt with in our next budget and 
probably several budgets thereafter,” said 

 Approximately $7.5 million of 
the $12.5 million General Fund balance 
represents a transfer made in February 2011 
as a repayment of the City’s loan advance 
made to the Redevelopment Agency in 
prior years. In the event that this transfer is 
deemed invalid, and ordered surrendered to 
the State, reserves would be reduced to $5 
million, which represents 44% of General 
Fund expenditures. At year end total General 
Fund expenditures are projected to be 
$11,439,100, an increase of only $18,000, as 
compared to the adopted budget. A majority 
of the General Fund departments are 
projecting to spend less than their budgeted 

 One of the larger reductions in 
expenses is due to $130,000 in cost savings 
related to personnel changes and vacancies. 
Although the City has not implemented 
any employee layoffs, three staff positions 
were vacated and left unfilled in the last 
quarter of 2011. A retirement in March will 
leave another position temporarily unfilled, 
reducing the City staff count from 43 to 39. 
As a result, the City, historically known for 
its lean, efficient staffing, is down 13 full-
time staff over the past three years, from a 
high of 52 full-time employees.

Other mid-year budget highlights:

• Legal expenses are expected to be 
$71,000 less than originally budgeted. 
• Supplemental Law Enforcement 
Safety Funds of $112,000 will be used to 
offset costs associated with Los Angeles 
County Sheriff’s contract.
• The December windstorm resulted in 
$88,000 of unanticipated costs to the City for 
clean-up and repairs.
• Building permit fees are projected 
to increase by $50,000 to a new total of 
$350,000, due to remodels conducted by 
Wal-Mart, the soon-to-open new 99 Cent 
Only Store, and the new Fiat dealership, as 
well as new construction at Phase two of the 
Huntington Courts housing development.
• Duarte was awarded a $54,000 grant 
to implement a recycling program for Multi-
Family housing.
• Duarte’s Promise – The Alliance 
for Youth has been expanded to include 
additional Promise Fellows who are funded 
through the Duarte’s Promise grant and 
partnering agencies matching grants. As a 
result, program revenues and expenses will 
increase in the amount of $45,000.
• Reimbursements of approximately 
$250,000 were received in conjunction 
with an Energy Efficiency Upgrade of City 
facilities completed in 2011. 
• A Cal Recycle Grant of $150,000 
that can be used toward street resurfacing 
when recycled asphalt rubber is used will be 
used to offset costs related to the Highland 
Avenue rehabilitation project as well as the 
Area 1 slurry and cape seal projects.
• The City now qualifies for 
approximately $36,000 in National 
Transportation Department funding which 
will partially offset the ongoing increases 
in fuel and repair costs associated with the 
free-to-the-public Duarte Transit system. 

Duarte City Council members and 
administrative staff will convene in a budget 
workshop on April 30th at 4:00 pm to discuss 
2012/2013 fiscal year budget. The workshop 
is open to the public. 

For more information about the mid-year 
budget and upcoming budget workshop, call 
Duarte City Hall at (626) 357-7931.



IT’S A.........BIRD!

Armed with binoculars and cocked 
ears, an expedition will set out on April 22 in 
search of the endangered Bell’s Vireo. Led by 
Ornithologist Kimball Garrett, the walk will 
cover Encanto Park and nearby trails along 
the San Gabriel River, convening at the Duarte 
Historical Museum, 777 Encanto Parkway, 
Duarte, at 8 a.m. The Museum will serve coffee 
and donuts at 7:30 a.m. before the walk.

 “The Bell’s Vireo usually arrives by the 
first week or so of April, so our walk is scheduled 
for a good time to find them,” says Garrett. “We 
are also likely to spot Yellow-breasted Chats, and 
other nesting birds which should be in full song,” 
he adds.

 In previous local searches for the Vireo, 
the song of the elusive bird has been heard from 
the Puente Largo Bridge. However, none of the 
small arboreal songbirds were actually seen. 
The Vireo song is distinct, inflecting upward 
and then downward as if asking then answering 
a question. As described in “Birds of the Los 
Angeles Region,” a book co-authored by Garrett, 
the Vireo may be found in “larger flood control 
basins and along unchannelized creeks and 
rivers.” Although endangered, their habitats are 
showing some recovery due to management of 
quality riparian habitat and localized cowbird 

 According to Garrett, because the 
walk will take place close to the peak of spring 
migration, “we might see a variety of warblers, 
swallows, flycatchers and other migrants. There 
ought to be Western Tanagers, Bullock’s and 
Hooded Orioles and other colorful birds.”

 Garrett is Collections Manager at 
the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural 
History. “We are fortunate to have Garrett, an 
expert in his field, lead this birding expedition. 
It promises to be fun, exciting and educational. 
The participants will learn a lot about our local 
natural history,” says Claudia Heller, president 
of the Duarte Historical Society, which is 
sponsoring the event in celebration of Earth Day. 

 The walk is free to the public. It will take 
place rain or shine. For more information, call 
(626) 358-0329.

Submitted by Claurdia Heller


By Joan Schmidt

 On Saturday, Santa Fe Middle School, 
Monrovia, was the site of SWAG, 
the second annual Monrovia/Duarte 
Youth Leadership Summit. Last year 
about 150 attended, but this year, 385!

 What is the purpose of “SWAG”? 
Its name means, “Serve with a Goal”. 
Guillermo Chavez, the Monrovia/
Duarte Youth Leadership Team 
and the event committee designed 
activities to connect youths with 
career professionals, higher education, and 
internship opportunities within a dynamic 
leadership growing session. The goal of 
SWAG was “to have all today’s participants 
walk away both inspired and equipped to 
achieve their personal educational and 
career goals.”

 The session began with the “Welcomes” by 
Tiffany Scott, Monrovia Youth Commission; 
Dominique Rodgers, Duarte Youth Council; 
Mary Ann Lutz, Mayor of Monrovia; and 
John Fasana, Mayor of Duarte.

 The Keynote speaker was Rhonda Luna 
and what an awesome lady she is! Rhonda 
is a Counselor at Santa Fe Middle School, 
Monrovia, Recreation Leader at the Duarte 
Teen Center and a Professional Boxer!

 After Rhonda’s inspiring speech, there 
were two class sessions, followed by a lunch 
break. The Mexican style lunch was provided 
by Rudy’s Mexican Restaurant. In between 
there was great entertainment by DJ Blvd, 
Informational Booths and a raffle. 

 After the lunch break, there were two 
more sessions followed by the closing 
ceremony. Paul Dols, Government Teacher 
and Renaissance Program Coordinator 
at Monrovia High School was the closing 

 During the SWAG Summit, there was 
quite an array of sessions available. I was able 
to sit in on the “Make-up Artistry” one and 
it was so popular they had to hold morning 
sessions too. When I asked how the session 
was, the students said they “loved it” and it 
was “awesome”. 

 Other sessions included “How to Go to 
College and Receive Financial Aid”, (Norman 
Anderson, Counselor, DUSD); “How to Get 
a Job”, ( Jeff Lambert, Librarian II, Adult 
Sessions, Monrovia Public Library); “How 
to Have a Healthy Relationship”, (Gloria 
Crudgington, M.A./MSCC, Marriage and 
Family Therapist);“Money Talks”,(Jeff 
Chang, Vice President, Citizens Business 
Bank of Monrovia); “Evil Weed”, (Ann 
Scott, Department of Health, Pasadena); 
“Volunteerism: Making a Difference in Your 
Community”, (Rudy Martinez, Recreation 
Leader and Renee Estephan, Duarte Youth 
Council President); “Bullying: It Affects 
Everyone”, ( Renee Houlemarde, Counselor, 
DUSD); “How to Start Your Own Business”, 
(Lisa Magna & Joe Naylor, CEO’s Joe’s Place 
and Leven Oaks Retirement Home); “Art 
Expressions”, (Michael Olivares, Outreach 
Coordinator, Glendale Adventist Medical 
Center); “Mixed Martial Arts”, (Fernando 
Isais, Old Town Fight Club); “Make Up 
Artistry”, (Carolyn Simon, Professional 
Make-up Artist); “Boxing”, (Duarte Boxing); 
“Zumba: Dance Your Way to Health”, 
(Dr. Maggie Pezeshkian, Duarte Family 
Chiropractic); “Cooking”, (Chef Rice, 
Cooking Instructor, Duarte High School); 
and “Social Media: Today’s Most Popular 
Communication (Yolanda Gutierrez, Agent, 
Monrovia PD).

 Sponsors included Rudy’s Mexican Food, 
Burrtec Waste Industries, SO CA Edison, 
Citizens Business Bank, Athens Services, 
the Y Life, Monrovia Rotary International, 
Duarte Kiwanis International, Duarte 
Unified School District, Monrovia Unified 
School District, Think Together, L.A. County 
Sheriff’s Duarte’s Sub Station, SO CA Gas 
Company, Sempra Energy Company, 
Foothill Federal Credit Union, Community 
Hope, and Donna Baker, Director of Heritage 
Homes, Podley Properties.

 Above: Keynote speaker Rhonda Luna and Mayor 
Mary Ann Lutz

Monrovia Police Blotter

Highlighted Activity for the Weekdays of 

February 27-29, 2012


During the last seven-day period, the Police Department 
handled 412 service events, resulting 
in 74 investigations. To see a complete listing of 
crimes reported, go to http://www.crimemapping.
com/map/ca/monrovia for crime mapping.


Attempted Residential Burglary

On February 28 at 3:20 p.m., a 15-year-old male 
subject that lives in the 200 block of Violet observed 
a male suspect tampering with the window 
screen on the backdoor of the apartment 
where he lives. The suspect eventually left the 
area. Police were not called until the subject's 
stepfather arrived home, a few hours later. The 
window screen appeared to have been cut, but 
the suspect did not make entry into the home. 
The suspect is described as a male, 6'0", thin 
build, wearing dark pants and a gray or black 
hooded sweatshirt, which covered his face and 
hands. Investigation continuing.


Detective Bureau Case Follow-up


Gang member, Gary Sanchez, was convicted 
of murder in the Pasadena Superior Court last 
week. Sanchez was convicted of several gun and 
gang enhancements, and is facing fifty years to 
life in prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced on 
March 23, 2012.

This case stems from an incident that occurred 
on December 15, 2009, at approximately 8:04 
p.m. Sanchez shot and killed Jason Gentile near 
the intersection of Colorado and California 
in Monrovia. Sanchez also wounded Gentile's 
girlfriend, who has completely recovered from 
her wounds. Los Angeles Sheriff's Department 
Homicide Detectives investigated this case, but 
Monrovia Police Department personnel played a 
major role in the investigation and prosecution.


Tip of the Week


Mail Theft Prevention

If you order items over the phone, via the Internet, 
or by mail, chances are those packages will 
be delivered straight to your front porch. The 
majority of deliveries do not require a signature 
and are generally left at your door, even if no one 
is home to accept them. Some thieves look for 
crime of opportunity, but other thieves actually 
target your delivery. Thieves will follow or watch 
for the UPS, FedEx, US Mail, or other delivery 
trucks, and then target a home after a delivery 
is made.


Here are some suggestions for helping to prevent 
a theft of your packages:

 •If possible, use your workplace as the shipping 

 •Track your shipments by phone or online so 
that you know what day they should arrive.

 •Ask your neighbor to watch for your delivery 
and then hold the items until you arrive home.

 •Keep an eye on your neighborhood and report 
suspicious persons or vehicles in the area.

 •Request a signature delivery option if available 
or request the shipment be held at the shipping 
facility such as a UPS office.

 •Check with "mailbox" businesses in your town 
and see if they will accept shipment of your item 
for a fee.

 •If you do not receive your shipment on time, 
check with the company of origin and confirm 
the delivery. If the item was delivered and you 
did not receive it, report the theft or loss to the 
original company, the shipping company, and 
your local police.


 Stop Graffiti Bounty Program 


One of the methods the Monrovia Police Department 
is using to combat graffiti in the community 
of Monrovia is the Stop Graffiti Bounty 
Program. If a citizen reports an incident of graffiti 
in the City of Monrovia that leads to the arrest 
of the suspect, the citizen will receive a $100 
bill. Help keep Monrovia looking great!